Hy-Vee Homefront 250 Odds: Can anyone beat Newgarden in Iowa?

Two races over one weekend provides unique opportunity mid-season

For the only time on the 2023 IndyCar schedule, the grid will participate in two IndyRaces races in two days. Both races are 250-lap events around the Iowa Speedway. This marks the third time the series’ format includes a double-header on the same weekend. For the first time this season, Josef Newgarden is the heavy favorite for victory in the Hy-Vee Homefront 250 odds.

Newgarden, O’Ward among the best bets for victory

Newgarden’s become arguably the best oval driver on the grid and leads the IndyCar odds accordingly at +230. He’s won both oval events so far this year in Texas and the Indy 500). Last season, he won two of the four oval events (Iowa 1 and Gateway).

That gives him four wins in the last five IndyCar events on oval tracks. He’s been best over his IndyCar career on speedways like Iowa, with eight wins in 27 races. With his fifth place last time in Toronto, he’s third in the IndyCar standings but 126 points behind leader Álex Palou. Another signature drive in Iowa could make a significant dent in that deficit.

It’s been a frustrating season for Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward (+400). A strong start of consecutive second-place finishes preceded a mistake and poor result in Long Beach. From there, he had a great chance at victory in the Indy 500 before crashing out in the waning laps.

In Detroit, pit stop trouble ended his hopes of a win. He’s rebounded to three consecutive top-eight finishes but needs to break through for a win. Few thought he’d be 10 races into the season and still winless.

Luckily, he’s got a great opportunity this week. He won the second race in Iowa last season and has finished in the top four all but once there in his IndyCar career. At this point in the IndyCar schedule, he’s likely too far behind to contend for the title. He’s 143 points behind Palou. But a win here would get him back on track as the schedule reaches the final few races.

Palou’s (+700) has been on an incredible run this season, especially in the last month and a half. Three wins and a second place last time in Toronto have him more than two wins worth of points ahead of Dixon. The Hy-Vee Homefront 250 odds may have him less favored than the typical IndyCar odds this season.

He’s struggled at ovals throughout his career. Thirteen total events have led to just two podiums. He is undoubtedly the driver of the season but heading to one of his worst tracks in IndyCar. He’s finished inside the top 10 just once in four races.

Scott McLaughlin (+750) looked like a contender for much of the Toronto race before a bad strategy call dropped him to sixth by the chequered flag. His limited running in Iowa of just two races has yielded one podium (Iowa 2 in 2022). It’s early on in his IndyCar career, but he’s been solid in speedways like Iowa, with three top-five results in six races.

Scott Dixon (+800) has one of the best track records in Iowa without winning a race. Seventeen events have yielded 11 top-five finishes. He’s started on pole three times (2007, 2008, 2014). He’s started no higher than 13th in the last four races but has finished in the top five every time.

The seven-time champion’s shined on ovals before, with 19 of his 52 career IndyCar wins coming on 1-2 mile speedways like Iowa. Currently, he’s the best challenger to Palou for the title at 117 points behind. Winning in Iowa brings him back into the fold for a potential eighth title, thanks to a good run of form lately (four straight top-four finishes).

Longer shots to consider

The Hy-Vee Homefront 250 odds put Marcus Ericsson at +1200. But the Swede’s been a good oval driver this season. He was tantalizingly close to a second straight Indy 500 win this year, only dropping to second after a frantic last-lap restart. He took eighth in Texas and has yet to win after his victory in the opening round in St. Petersburg. He’s finished in the top 10 in the last four Iowa races. It’s his best oval, with an average finish of eighth in five races. He’ll look to break through for another win this year.

Alexander Rossi (+1800) struggled in Toronto after getting caught in an opening-lap pileup and finished 16th. Before that, he’d been on an upswing after a rough start to 2023. A podium in the GMR Grand Prix preceded fifth-place finishes in both the Indy 500 and Detroit.

He’s dropped off slightly, with 10th in Road America and Mid-Ohio before last week’s bad result. A win may be a long shot, but he’s a proven winner on ovals who’s had good showings on those tracks in 2023.

Predictions for the Hy-Vee Homefront 250

The unique double-header format for Iowa makes it a fascinating race. Yes, the Hy-Vee Homefront 250 odds point to Newgarden winning again, but even that choice has a solid payoff. He’s the favorite for good reason and should be the choice.

Dixon or Ericsson are your best choices if you’d like a better payout. Dixon’s shown he can make his way up the order in Iowa, and Ericsson’s a proven oval winner.

For IndyCar betting news, odds analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.

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